The tide rolls out

The pace of credit contraction continued to increase according to the first February report.  Nearly $100 billion in bank loans were paid off, pulled, or defaulted in January.  At 1.42% of the total, this increases the estimated 2010 contraction from 10% to 15%, more than twice as much as the 2009 record.  This is a new chart going back to 1947, in order to better show the unprecedented nature of the ongoing loan shrinkage.  Keen observers may note that on this larger chart, 1975 does not show up as a negative credit year as it did in the previously displayed 1973-present graphs.  This is because the 1973+ numbers are weekly, while the 1947+ numbers are monthly.  This was enough to change what was a 0.9% contraction into 0.2% growth.  If you’re interested in understanding more about the significance of these credit statistics, The Vulture Lurks has a new review of RGD up:

The book is eminently readable, even for those lacking economics training. Vox was able to describe the economic mess in which we find ourselves, the steps that got us into that mess in the first place, and the likelihood that the steps currently being taken by our ruling class will exacerbate the situation, in terminology that wasn’t overwhelming. This book is understandable by ANYONE, regardless of economic background, prior study, or existing expertise. I consider this to be quite an accomplishment on Vox’s part.

Also, in what would appear to be the first review from Malaysia, GKE has a recommendation up on Amazon:  I recommend this book for anyone interesting in a non-simplistic, but readable analysis of the current economic situation. I should also mention that I bought this book for Kindle and the price was perfect for a digital book.”